TurkoTek Discussion Boards

Subject  :  Emotional vs. Intellectual Responses
Author  :  Steve Price mailto:%20sprice@hsc.vcu.edu
Date  :  10-25-2000 on 09:20 a.m.
Dear People,

In a message that was accidentally deleted while I was learning to manipulate our new software, Sam asked that we specify why we have the emotional responses that we have to certain pieces. Vincent Keers, in another thread, put on an image of an Uzbek embroidered khorjin with a statement that he doesn't want to say why he likes it, he simply likes it, period.

This jarred my sleepy brain into a thought. Sam asks for an intellectualized basis for an emotional response, and I'm not sure that this is an internally consistent request. Either the response is emotional or it's intellectual. Right?

Steve Price

Subject  :  Re:Emotional vs. Intellectual Responses
Author  :  Richard Farber mailto:%20farberr@netvision.net.il
Date  :  10-25-2000 on 10:43 a.m.
Dear everybody,

two or three years ago I had the pleasure of hearing a lecture by Elliot Eisner of Stanford at the Tel Aviv U. The subject was "what do the arts teach". His discussion of the arts was more complex than a dichotomy between emotion and intellect. He, early in the lecture even included somatic responce or the feeling of rightness. [something which the Germans call Bauch, maybe 'gut feeling' will give the gut feeling of the 'heart' of the idea. . . He talked of the having the skills necessary to inquire into art, or having the keys necessary to open a particular work of art, of learning to see and not just look. He made me realise that the business's I'm in [arts and teaching]are complex.

I don't think that responces to beauty are constants. I have over the years had differing responces to the beauty of the same textile, chord, photograph or person. I think that there are different values in the mix of how we relate to beauty at different times. Some reaction to beauty is more intellectual and less somatic and partially emotional . . .etc etc and this mix differs over the time [seconds minutes] that you merge with the object and definately over the years. I could emagine others in the discussion adding a catagory or two.

Our ability to discuss and understand beauty is an extremely difficult endevor. One which I do not attempt to do with my own creative work. Why a particular aria works or when the overture is long enough or why the character says what he says are things that I know somatically, perhaps emotionally but definately not intellectually. Carpets and textiles are a different matter and an approach which includes a large measure of intellect seems a valid approach. [I don't make the stuff, I collect it]


Subject  :  Re:Emotional vs. Intellectual Responses
Author  :  Vincent Keers mailto:%20vkeers@worldonline.nl
Date  :  10-25-2000 on 12:10 p.m.
Dear Richard,

Two questions though:
Do you collect every textile you encounter, or do you collect only the artistic ones. And if you collect the artistic ones, what do you find artistic.

If you, with your background, can tell me that, I think I'm learning something.

The rugs I liked most, I did sell.
The ones I love, nobody seems to like.

Best regards,

Subject  :  Re:Emotional vs. Intellectual Responses
Author  :  Sam Gorden mailto:%20gordsa@earthlink.net
Date  :  10-26-2000 on 12:13 a.m.
Dear Richard,
You said "I don't think that responses to beauty are constants". The truth of this statement is beyond question. If we consider the terms "Static" and "Dynamic" as applying to humans we must accept that it is the young who are dynamic and most apt to accept new ideas and values. These change rapidly with youth. As we grow older we tend to become static and try to cling to those of "The Good Old Days". This applies also to our concepts of beauty. As we learn what "Turns us on", we really are learning about ourselves. This understanding can be a great help in collecting. Always, try to visualize living with your choice. Good hunting!

Subject  :  Re:Emotional vs. Intellectual Responses
Author  :  Richard Farber mailto:%20farberr@netvision.net.il
Date  :  10-26-2000 on 02:54 a.m.
Dear Salon folks,

Vincent, you asked if I collect every textile I encounter -- of course not. Then you continued, do you collect only the artistic ones, and if you do what do you find artistic.

If artistic means having a high level of competence in the technical areas and a concern for detail of expression then yes I expect a certain level of competence, but I have passed on pieces brilliantly executed, and have a couple of very naive pieces that might have been done by not yet technichally acomplished children. Artistry is not the deciding factor in requisition.

The reasons for collecting something are not monolithic. I could well imagine in the beginning of ones collecting gathering "the beautiful" as perceived in wide and unrelated areas . . .the one Ikat, the silk scarf from Paris with the great tree design, the single damascene inlaid box which must be old . . .whatever crosses your "hunting field" [of course I will buy something that is very undervalued to keep for a friend who collects in that area or for trading with a dealer for a piece that I want] but collecting is now something different.

Some pieces talk to one another, sing in harmony, when displayed together. This is an indication for collecting which has developed over the years. I bought the textile shown in part two a few weeks before the salon not only because it was beautiful but because I want to display it with other niche form pieces. Whether it alone could fill a wall I'm not yet sure.

I think that some pieces I own because I have an intimation when seeing them for the first time that there is something in the piece that needs time, [and oten a good cleaning and some conservation-restoration] to appreciate, that the piece has something to say some depth that will slowly become appearant and then be worthwhile. The ones that jump at you and say I'm pretty good very often stay at that level. The ones that have a subtlety of expression and are often passed over by everyone else are occassionally when you're lucky the ones that have a story to tell, a message to give, an emotional web to spin, for years.

I like the creation of movement that some textiles demand, the feeling that they are not a single-focus item but something which deseves a large number of focal points and a patient meander around the design.

(Vincent, I congradulate on your closing lines . . 'the ones I liked most, I did sell. the ones I love, nobody seems to like. '
This rambling of mine is far from complete, or perhaps not very coherent but forgive I have to get some orchestration done today.)

Dear Sam,

In the history of music some musicologist depict the change of styles of the entire history of western music as a great pendulum swinging between periods which are Classical to periods which are Romantic. (Curt Sachs et al) We all know that certain types of rugs have a vogue and then are out of fashion and than back in . . . all this irregardless on the cycles of a person's own life. I remember a Dutch architect living in Jerusalem whom I knew when I was a student there in the sixties who talked about the ever narrowing choice of music he listened too and how he believed he would end his life only listening to Bach B minor Mass.

On first reading you salon I said heh, why arent we getting a salon that will teach us in detail something about a particular area of collection?

Now let me sincerely thank you for the chance to think about things only felt and not considered.


Subject  :  Re:Emotional vs. Intellectual Responses
Author  :  Vincent Keers mailto:%20vkeers@worldonline.nl
Date  :  10-26-2000 on 12:06 p.m.
Dear Richard and all,

First I thank Richard for the "singing in harmony". It was in your salon too, and it is music to my ears. I'm displaying rugs and textiles 365 days a year. If they are singing in perfect harmony, whispering a fragile forgotten song, I know I will not sell one item. People will congratulate me with the beautiful display, but can't make a choice. "It looks great in your shop, but my house isn't a shop."
If I display in a confronting, disharmonic style. They rush in for any specific rug.
This is a very black and white situation, but very realistic.
I would like your embroidery in my totally white room, no windows, with one white chair in the middle of the room. I could be there for hours, nothing to do with the world:
What world?.......
I think the "artistic" level of an item needs some interpretation. I hope this example helps: A modern painter like Mondrian, Appel, etc. had perfect technical skills. The early works shows that. It's when they began their own development, in a public confronting style, the artistry comes in. When they started the experiment, the general public thought the painters acted in the wrong play.
I think artistic means: 1. Having the skill.
2. The intellectual luggage. 3. Dare to be different. Point three makes some non skilled, non intellectual makings very artistic, that's when luck comes in, if the work is critizised by the connoisseur. Apes can make very artistic paintings and loads of garbage.
So, maybe we can agree on the following:
- Artistic needs skill, intellect from the artist.
- Artistic needs skill, intellect from the viewer.
- Artistic needs luck.
- Beautiful, is what you think it is. And can be an eyeopener for others, emotionally. It's a more general expression.
- The very ugly, (not beautiful at that time and space) can be deeply loved. Brain level 0,0. Emotions 100%.

Beautiful (not ugly), ugly (not beautiful).
Artistic (?????????), ?
This rug isn't artistic? Then it's a repetition of the general and it can de beautiful or ugly.

Conclusion: I do not understand why I should be interested in what others think is "beautiful". I can congratulate them, be happy for them, can positive, negative criticize the item. So what?
Dear Sam, your dragons are wonderful, but why do you think they are dragons? Now artistic comes in. Maybe Sam knows, sees things in the design I'm unaware of. I couldn't find them.
Maybe Sam thinks: It's Chinese, so it has to be dragons which is worth a discussion.
Sam thinks it's an ugly Chinese, I think it's beautiful. Could we discus it?
I think my purse has an artistic, extra dimension. You find it ugly, I find it beautiful. Shall we discus the artistic aspects?
Beautiful or ugly, never.

Best regards,

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